When I was training for my first century ride, I would ride past a bicycle shop in Washington, DC pretty much every day and it ended up being my stop for a break. They had these beautiful bikes and gear and I occasionally would walk around and keep an eye out for future purchases. On one ride, being late afternoon, I bought a bike light and the guy that helped me asked what I was training for - "you're grinding it out every day" he said.
I told him that I was training for my first century. He congratulated me and asked if I would be interested doing a meet-up ride that they have at the shop every Thursday AM. I asked him where they ride and for how long. He told me where and then he said "we do a century every week".
"Every week?" I said. I had built up the century as this major accomplishment and to think of doing one every week caught me off guard.
"Yeah, centuries aren't hard - it's just a long day in the saddle". I thanked him and said I would try to join him. And then walked away sunken.
The rub is that while I walked away feeling a bit defeated it ended up being one of those random moments in life that taught me the biggest lesson. By thinking differently of the effort involved, you can open the door to more opportunity. It was all a simple mind trick.
That next year I decided I would ride a century a week (my second year cycling, from May - September). I can look back now and say confidently that I was not in the shape to pull it off but I was insistent it was going to happen. And it did. There were rides where I hated life, my legs hurt and my energy was drained - and I repeated what that guy said to me "it's just a long day in the saddle".
From May 2015 - September 2015 I rode a century a week (in addition to other miles I was averaging between 200-300 miles per week).
And it didn't stop there.
I began to ask myself - what other accomplishments can be had by just thinking differently about the task? I took this simple lesson and started applying across various areas of my life and work. Often times what we make out to be extraordinary tasks are actually well within reach and all it takes is a simple mind shift.
I share this because it was a game changer for me and I hope it is helpful to some of you.
Have a good day.